February 19, 2019
Call to Order: Anna M. called the meeting to order at 5:32p
Members Attending: Anna, Eric, Anne D., Sadee, Katy, Dave, Jodie, Darcy, Matthew, Samara
Members Absent: Ken, Theresa, Anne R., Aktan, Jackie
Staff Attending: Rick, Viña
Minutes of January Meeting
On a motion by Dave, seconded by Anne D., the minutes were approved.
No significant discussion.
Educator: See update. Three apprentices graduated from the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. They are gainfully employed in dairy operations around the state. There are currently four apprentices in the program.
|February||Maine Root Vegetables|
|May||Maine Wild Blueberries|
|June||Maine Leafy Greens|
|July||Maine Summer Squash|
|December||Maine Winter Squash|
Food Systems & Youth Development
See update. Of note, the Harvest of the Month program partnering schools and farmers is underway. Katy asked if there was going to be a way for the farmers to understand the volume of product required if they partner with the program. Vina explained that there are over 100 schools signed up around the state, and that farmers would be partnered with schools in their geographic area, and events highlighting the month’s crop will take place only once or twice a month. The understanding is that the farmers will work directly with their assigned school to coordinate volume requirements. The following months and products are: (see table)
On a motion by Eric, seconded by Matthew., the Treasurer’s report, and all staff reports were approved.
Winter Farmer’s Potluck – 2/16/19
See after-action report submitted by Anne D. The Winter Potluck was well-attended (approx. 45 people). There were more farmers this year, and the climate change discussion was well-received. Darcy J. has agreed to lead this committee next year. Some ideas discussed to make next year even better:
- Encourage attendees to bring their musical instruments to encourage a hoe-down following the topic of the evening
- Think about moving the venue to someplace else within Waldo County – try the Unity Food Hub spaces next year
- Work with adjacent counties to promote the event.
- Pursue a panel-type discussion to encourage more audience participation
See Dave’s update. Dave will write the grant proposal for developing an Ag Plastic recycling program state-wide. Rick has coordinated with the University to accept an 11% indirects for their role in sponsoring/partnering on the grant. Matthew and Eric volunteered to assist with editing the proposal. The grant proposal write-up is due by the end of April.
Rural Living Day – 4/6/19
Planning is moving along smoothly. Members received RLD posters to hang up around these locations:
- Dave: Town of Jackson, FEDCO
- Rick: Town of Burnham
- Anna: McKay Farms, Town of Thorndike, Unity College
- Samara: Towns of China, Palermo, Liberty
- Katy: Belfast COOP (on 1 March), Belfast Transfer Station, MOFGA
- Jodie: Liberty Schools, Towns of Searsmont, Morrill, Montville
- Matthew: Marsh River Coop, Brooks Post Office
- Darcy: Belfast YMCA, Mt. View School, JP’s in Brooks, Troy General, Gibbs Hardware, Community Calendar
- Eric: Swan Lake Grocery, Friday Belfast Farmers Mkt @ Aubuchon
- Anne D.: Monroe Town Hall and Country Store, United Farmer’s Market in Belfast
The online registration page is under construction, and staff is shooting to start sign-ups the first week of March. The committee is soliciting ideas for speaker gifts. Check with Vina for approval of gifts – under $10 each. Thus far Chase Stream Farm (Anne D.) will provide maple syrup, and Marsh River Coop (Matthew) will provide honey. Theresa Gaffney will provide 3 oz bag of Barque Chips for speaker bags. Vina will let us know how many speaker gifts will be required.
It was recommended that 4-H have a visible presence, and that room monitors be provided talking points to highlight that funds raised from RLD not only cover meal prices but are used to support the 4-H scholarship fund.
The committee and Executive Board support allowing a 10-vendor farmer’s market at the event. Vina will contact speakers to offer them the opportunity to set up a table to further explain or sell their products. This will require some additional logistics support in terms of table set up and break down. Members feel that a farmer’s market will provide some additional entertainment for attendees during lunch and in the afternoon.
Scholarship Applications: Rick asked for volunteers to read through scholarship applications – Anne D., Jodie, Darcy, Katy and Samara volunteered to help.
Snacks for next meeting
Matthew volunteered to provide snacks for the next WCEA meeting on March 19 at 5:30p.
On a motion by Eric, seconded by Katy, the meeting was adjourned at 6:37pm.